Students enjoy music from local Columbia artists through Pop-Up Music Series

Campus Activities Programming Board hosted live music events on Kuhlmann Court throughout October and November.

After MU students were sent home on March 13 to continue classes online, live music halted on MU’s campus. This October, live music finally returned, filling the paths of Kuhlman Court on Thursday night.

Throughout October and November, the Campus Activities Programming Board gave students the opportunity to hear live music from local Columbia artists in Kuhlmann Court on Thursday nights from 6-8 p.m.

“I love live bands and going to concerts, whether it's a big concert or small concert,” freshman Debrah Totten said. “Supporting local artists is really cool.”

In past semesters, the CAPB hosted concerts in Jesse Auditorium with artists like Kehlani. Due to COVID-19, the group pivoted to hosting socially-distanced concerts outside of the MU Student Center featuring local Columbia artists and MU alumni like Elephant Foot, Carrier Pigeon and Jay Wood.

The bands and artists span a wide range of genres, including R&B, rock and alternative. The diversity in music style helps introduce students to songs and artists they’ve never discovered before, CAFB’s Concert Chair Caitlin Johnson said.

“It's giving people a different taste in music across the spectrum, so I think that's a good thing to bring back the campus,” Johnson said.

Elephant Foot, a local rock band formed in December 2019, performed at the Pop-Up Music event on Nov. 5 after months of practicing together. While the band wasn’t able to perform at any gigs months after they were formed, bassist Drew Webber said the extra practice time worked to the band’s advantage as they released their latest EP this October.

“In all the other bands I’ve been in, we’ve rushed immediately to start playing gigs,” Webber said. “This time we weren’t allowed to do that, which I was really thankful for because it allowed us to buckle down and write and practice.”

Safety was a top priority at the Pop-Up music events while students enjoyed live music, Johnson said. Picnic blankets were given to students, allowing them to sit socially distanced outside. Masks were required at all times, aligning with MU’s COVID-19 policies.

“We're definitely a lot more mindful of who was coming to our events, because typically we were just like, ‘This is all for the public,’” Johnson said.

Johnson hopes the Pop-Up Music series will continue even after the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for students to learn more about their peers and their interests.

“It's a good way to meet people,” Johnson said. “It's a good way to hear what other students are doing outside of academics because obviously in college, we're so academic based. It's so fun to see what people do outside of school.”

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